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On Gardening: The Cool Season Landscape Offers Great Edible Opportunities

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By Norman Winter

Red Fire is slow to bolt and will keep you harvesting those glorious ruffled leaves. Feel free to harvest young outer leaves once or twice a week depending on rate of growth. In addition to Red Fire don’t forget other great re-leafed selections like Red Sails, Galactic Red Leaf and of course the plain old green-leafed types like Black Seeded Simpson are showy as well.

In the South, however, mustard greens reign supreme. The leaves of varieties like Red Giant offer deep burgundy leaves bringing untold beauty to the edible landscape. While almost any color will work as a partner, the warm colors of pansies with orange, yellow or salmon, provide a companionship of rare cool-season beauty. The Ultima Apricot Salmon pansy is one such selection. To be honest this partnership challenges is so striking it challenges me to go and harvest. The red tones that make the deep apricot color blend to perfection with the mustard. Ultima pansies are about 2 inches across but pack a lot of flower power.

But I am a typical guy when it comes to eating. The thought of fried catfish, cornbread and a heaping pile of mustard greens will trump landscape beauty on most occasions.

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